Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Desmond Ryan
    It's a stunning Roman triumph.
  2. Reviewed by: Ted Fry
    It's that very rare feeling that you're settling into a movie whose individual elements are so finely attuned they fuse into a singular construct of pure entertainment.
  3. What matters for today's hero is the good fight, and Gladiator KOs us with a doozy.
  4. It lives up to the hype. Gladiator has its creaky moments, but it delivers a particular kind of visceral historical spectacle that movie audiences haven't seen in decades.
  5. Rolling Stone
    Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Glorious, a colossus of rousing action and ferocious fun.
  6. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Foreman
    An exhilarating, sweeping epic that begs to be seen on the largest possible screen.
  7. If there's a soft spot in your heart for the sword-&-sandal epic -- and from the star rating above, I think you can guess where I stand -- then you'll swoon with giddy delight over Gladiator.
  8. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    Has the kind of super-cinematic qualities and bravura acting that make up for almost anything.
  9. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    Combining a seething physicality with enough weary nobility and tightly checked rage for a dozen wronged heroes, (Crowe) provides the movie's vital center of gravity without looming over his co-stars.
  10. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Quite a good movie--a big, fat, rousing, intelligent, daring, retro, many-adjective-requiring entertainment.
  11. One extended guilty pleasure.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    John Mathieson's widescreen cinematography is magnificent, and the pacing across 2½ hours is well modulated.
  13. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Lacks emotional depth and sweep -- but the movie still delivers the type of rousing, large-scale adventure that marked the best films of its kind
  14. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Frequently gory, often talky, almost always watchable, never quite thrilling, Gladiator is a cold and big film that mixes solid acting with cheesy digital effects and sweaty action with stultifying chatter.
  15. As formulaic, but occasionally outré multiplex-bound behemoths go, Gladiator is a foaming beast.
  16. At 2 1/2 hours, Gladiator is a long ride, but it doesn't drag.
  17. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    The heroism and the tigers and the epic grandeur all leave behind the flavor of cynicism.
  18. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: Andrea C. Basora
    The fight scenes are dynamic, intricately choreographed, and downright exciting.
  19. Brawny, he-man spectacle combined with a surprisingly solid story and buttressed by excellent performances.
  20. TNT RoughCut
    Reviewed by: J. Rentilly
    What elevates Gladiator to the near-greatness it occasionally achieves is the performance of Russell Crowe as Maximus.
  21. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    The warm humanizing element in all the cool stuff is Crowe.
  22. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    It epitomizes the kind of high-profile bloodshed we now expect to herald the hazy, lazy, blockbuster-fixated days of summer.
  23. 63
    Instead of the heat of humanity, what lingers on in the mind is the cool of the computerized effects.
  24. It ends with the corniest convention of all: an absurd mano-a-mano between good and evil.
  25. The script by producer David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson is serviceable but not exactly inspired.
  26. 60
    Filled with brilliant filmmaking and features outstanding performances, but it's neither profound enough nor pop enough to be great -- it's mournful, serious, beautiful and, finally, pointless.
  27. Like an aging athlete who knows how to husband strength and camouflage weaknesses, it makes the most of what it does well and hopes you won't notice its limitations.
  28. 60
    The digital animation is far more evident here than in "The Phantom Menace."
  29. 50
    It's a loud, obnoxious, and pleasant-enough entertainment, but hardly the soaring tale of one man's struggle that it was so clearly envisioned to be.
  30. The soul of Gladiator is made sluggish by a maddening lack of suspense.
  31. Scott's filmmaking is as blunt and bullying as the mayhem it portrays.
  32. 50
    It employs depression as a substitute for personality, and believes that if the characters are bitter and morose enough, we won't notice how dull they are.
  33. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Well, it's better than "The Phantom Menace."
  34. 40
    For all its grandeur, Gladiator is a canned experience, a film that flails around awkwardly trying to find a reason to exist, or at least a compelling story to tell.
  35. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Gladiator's combination of grim sanctimony and drenching, Dolby-ized dismemberings left me appalled.
  36. Friends, Washingtonians, countrymen, I come not to praise Gladiator but to bury it.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 711 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 142
  1. jakep
    Dec 24, 2009
    The best movie i have ever seen (and I am a film critic). It is an inspiring, mesmerizing, beautiful, action packed flick. It is about The best movie i have ever seen (and I am a film critic). It is an inspiring, mesmerizing, beautiful, action packed flick. It is about strength, honor, courage betratal, ruthlessness, survival, and even incest! This is the type of movie thatll motivate you to fight for what you live for because as gladiator said it best "what we do in life, echoes in eternity". Full Review »
  2. Aug 5, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I saw the film really late. The dialogues, the action scenes, the action, and the direction, wow, everything is absolutely terrific. "What we do in life, echoes in eternity". The best dialogue I have ever heard, so Philosophical, so Strengthening, so Inspiring, and just so Wonderful. I'd love to watch it all over again and again. The film is Remarkably great. I think enough said !! Full Review »
  3. Jun 1, 2012
    My favorite movie of all time. Every time I watch it I'm entranced all over again.